Revision #1 Authors: Shachar Lovett, Ido Ben-Eliezer, Ariel Yadin

Accepted on: 29th November 2009 21:37

Downloads: 2246

Keywords:

We study the computational power of polynomial threshold functions, that is, threshold functions of real polynomials over the boolean cube. We provide two new results bounding the computational power of this model.

Our first result shows that low-degree polynomial threshold functions cannot approximate any function with many influential variables. We provide a couple of examples where this technique yields tight approximation bounds.

Our second result relates to constructing pseudorandom generators fooling low-degree polynomial threshold functions. This problem has received attention recently, where Diakonikolas et al proved that $k$-wise independence suffices to fool linear threshold functions. We prove that any low-degree polynomial threshold function, which can be represented as a function of a small number of linear threshold functions, can also be fooled by $k$-wise independence. We view this as an important step towards fooling general polynomial threshold functions, and we discuss a plausible approach achieving this goal based on our techniques.

Our results combine tools from real approximation theory, hyper-contractive inequalities and probabilistic methods. In particular, we develop several new tools in approximation theory which may be of independent interest.

TR09-118 Authors: Shachar Lovett, Ido Ben-Eliezer, Ariel Yadin

Publication: 19th November 2009 20:24

Downloads: 3363

Keywords:

We study the computational power of polynomial threshold functions, that is, threshold functions of real polynomials over the boolean cube. We provide two new results bounding the computational power of this model.

Our first result shows that low-degree polynomial threshold functions cannot approximate any function with many influential variables. We provide a couple of examples where this technique yields tight approximation bounds.

Our second result relates to constructing pseudorandom generators fooling low-degree polynomial threshold functions. This problem has received attention recently, where Diakonikolas et al proved that $k$-wise independence suffices to fool linear threshold functions. We prove that any low-degree polynomial threshold function, which can be represented as a function of a small number of linear threshold functions, can also be fooled by $k$-wise independence. We view this as an important step towards fooling general polynomial threshold functions, and we discuss a plausible approach achieving this goal based on our techniques.

Our results combine tools from real approximation theory, hyper-contractive inequalities and probabilistic methods. In particular, we develop several new tools in approximation theory which may be of independent interest.